At about 1:00 this morning, I suddenly had menstrual cramps and low back pain reminiscent of a bad period. I was already laying in bed, so I figured I’d just keep trying to fall asleep and maybe they’d go away. An hour later, they still were bad and keeping me awake so I decided to call my clinic’s 24-hour nurse line. Their concern scared me a bit and they gave me the number of the birth center at the local hospital. The nurse that I spoke with really freaked me out when she said that her gut reaction is that I need to come in immediately, but that I should consult the OBGYN on-call before doing so. I was patched through to her shortly after 2am and she instructed me to drink lots of water and lay down to see if it would go away. If it didn’t, I would need to come into the hospital.
I was able to get a few hours of sleep, but when I awoke at 6am, the cramping and back pain were still there. I hemmed and hawed for a little while before waking up the hubster and telling him we’d better drive to the hospital.
It was a hard decision for me. I’m typically the one to shrug off my own pain thinking that it will pass; but I realized that I wasn’t making the decision for me, I was now making the decision for my baby. What a weird thought – it was the first time I had to make a decision solely for my baby…and he’s not even here with us yet!
A few hours, some lab tests and a fetal monitor watch later, I was cleared to go home. Everything looked fine, baby is super active and healthy. The fetal monitor was not picking up on any contractions and my lab tests came back clear.
I’m hoping that this doesn’t send me into a frenzy of washing all of his clothes and linens! I was definitely freaking out a bit last night, thinking about how it’s too early and none of his things are ready for him yet.
If you have any of the following symptoms of preterm labor, please consult your physician!
An increase in vaginal discharge
A change in the type of discharge — if it becomes watery, mucus-like, or bloody (even if it’s pink or just tinged with blood)
Any vaginal bleeding or spotting
Abdominal pain, menstrual-like cramping, or more than four contractions in one hour (even if they don’t hurt)
An increase in pressure in the pelvic area (a feeling that your baby is pushing down)
Low back pain, especially if you didn’t previously have back pain